MANILA, Philippines – Manila port operators have added Laguna as another location for overstaying Customs-cleared cargo piling at their ports.
Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) General Manager Juan C. Sta. Ana said the first batch of 135 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) will be moved to a 4-hectare facility in Cabuyao, Laguna beginning Friday, September 12 until September 15 to take advantage of the weekend traffic.
Next week, another set of 270 TEUs would be relocated, Sta Ana said.
The other destinations for overstaying containers are Batangas and Subic.
The PPA official admitted that the “unsynchronized” truck ban policies implemented by local government units in Manila have hindered efforts to ease out congestion at the Manila harbor.
He said the difficulty of trucks in collecting the containers from the ports has led to “very little success” in terms of port decongestion.
Malacañang has identified the congestion issue at the Manila harbor as a “very high priority,” prompting President Benigno Aquino III to direct the Cabinet Cluster on Port Congestion to convene for an “immediate resolution.” (READ: Cabinet cluster sets measures to ease port congestion)
Meanwhile, private Manila port operators International Container Terminal Services, Incorporated (ICTSI) and Asian Terminals, Incorporated (ATI) are planning to jointly commission a larger “sweeper” vessel to speed up hauling of containers from the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT) and the Manila South Harbor (MSH).
Some 5,000 TEUs cleared by the Bureau of Customs are being “swept” into the ports of Subic, Batangas, or into a facility in Laguna as shippers who own the containers have not claimed them.
“We will continue with this initiative until we have met the desired number of containers inside the two Manila ports, which is equivalent to an 80% yard utilization,” said Sta Ana. – Rappler.com
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